Some positive changes for Tier 4 students

Finally some concrete news for EU nationals

Last week’s Brexit negotiations have ended with  a statement from the Home Office which gives some comfort to EU nationals living in the UK. It confirms that any EU national living in the UK lawfully prior to 29th March 2019 will be able to carry on living here. So we now have the long- awaited “cut off point” for when an EU national must arrive here in order to know that he or she will be able to remain here.

The statement goes on to say that close family members will be able to join an EU national even after The UK has left the EU.

It confirms that the new “ settled status” will not be lost by leaving the UK for less than 5 years and that this status will be easy to apply for.

Those EU citizens who already hold a valid permanent residence card will not need to pay to convert their status in to the new “settled status.”

My advice remains that it is sensible to apply for confirmation of permanent residence if you are eligible  to do so. The Home Office continues to advise that it is not necessary! Confused? Please contact me for more information and for help with making an application.

Positive news for EU migrants who become British citizens

The Court of European Justice has overturned the Home Office stance that EU migrants who become British can no longer be joined by family members under European law. This has been difficult for some of those who have acquired British nationality since arriving in the UK and who have wanted their non-EU spouse to join them.  Until the ruling on 14th November those British nationals would generally have to have met the usual income threshold of at least £18,600.

For advice on this or on how to become a British national please contact me on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

Extension of Worker Registration Scheme Unlawful

The Worker Registration scheme applied to the 8 eastern European countries which joined the EU back in May 2004. Nationals of those countries who came to work in the UK were expected to register under the scheme and failure to do so meant that they were regarded as  living here unlawfully. The UK’s extension of the scheme beyond the initially proposed 5 year period has meant that workers failing to register between 2009 and 2011 have been regarded as being here unlawfully and have not been able to use those years towards the 5 years’ residence  needed to acquire permanent residence.

 

The Court of Appeal has this month confirmed that the extension of the scheme beyond  2009 was unlawful. Nationals of the “A8” countries will be able to include as lawful residence  their time here  from  May 2009, whether or not they registered under the scheme.

 

For advice on applying for confirmation of permanent residence or British citizenship please contact me on info@jennyharveyimmigration.co.uk

Banks and Building Societies required to carry out immigration status checks

From today , banks and building societies are  required to close the current accounts of people “disqualified” from holding bank accounts because of their immigration status.

The Home Office will tell them who is “disqualified”.

Recent tests have shown  errors in the Home Office database and it’s likely that disruptive and costly mistakes will be made at the expense of people who are legally in the UK.

Please get in touch if this happens to you and you need some help.

Prime Minister’s message on Permanent Residence and the new “Settled Status” being proposed to replace it.

Teresa May has sent out a message in which she talks about the new “ Settled Status” proposed for EEA nationals and their family members post-Brexit.

 

She has confirmed that people applying for the new status will not need to list  each trip out of the UK. Importantly, applicants will no longer need to show that they hold comprehensive sickness insurance.

 

Those with Permanent Residence under current law will be able to use a “ simple process put in place to swap their current status for UK Settled Status.”

 

Nothing is yet set in stone but please get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like help in applying for confirmation that you already have Permanent Residence in the UK.

 

New guidance on right to work checks for employers

A new guide has been published, dated 16.8.17, and applying to people employed after 8.8.17.

 

Changes include advice about the employment of non- EEA family members of EEA nationals, voluntary workers and international students and is a vital read for employers and their HR teams. It also explains the new illegal work measures such as closure notices and compliance orders as well as the introduction of immigration checks in to the licencing regimes for taxis and private hire vehicles and alcohol and late night refreshment.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/638349/Employer_s_guide_to_right_to_work_checks_-August_2017.pdf

Changes to minimum income rule for partners and children where there are “exceptional circumstances.”

The Home Office must now consider whether additional  sources of income , financial support or funds should be taken in to account when deciding whether to allow partners and children to enter or remain in the UK under “ Appendix FM “ of the immigration rules. Third party financial support could now be regarded as relevant , and so could future earnings from employment or self- employment. This long-awaited softening of the rules will be welcome to many but there is a lot of detail to consider before an application is made.

Are there “exceptional circumstances”?

Is an offer of financial support “credible and guaranteed”?

Is the prospect of employment or self-employment credible and sustainable”?

 

Leave granted under the new rules will mean an applicant waiting for ten years to settle rather than five years as normal and  it would be wise to  take legal advice before making an application.

New Guidance for People Needing help with Immigration and Asylum

The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority has been involved in publishing new guidance for members of the public looking for legal advice on immigration or asylum . It explains the difference between various types of lawyers and who regulates them , the importance of asking questions when choosing a lawyer and what can be expected of a good advisor.

Download Need help with your immigration and asylum issues? What you need to know.